Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Andrei Bressan
Oh glorious day, it’s that wonderful time when a new issue of Birthright comes out! At this point I think I’m comfortable enough to call it my favourite comic being published, just wanted to give that almost as a disclaimer before I started this review. After last issue acting as a bit of a breather (or as close as this series gets to one) to ease us back in, Williamson and Bressan are back in full force to drive the narrative forward. There’s a lot of forward momentum to this issue, but throughout it the book manages to stay perfectly paced and allows for many great character moments.
There’s a lot going on in this issue, with both old and new characters getting a chance in the spotlight, but Williamson manages to balances it all perfectly. Mikey and Brenan get some quality bonding in this issue as they set out looking for the next magical item they need, leading to some great lore expansion and some humours moment between Brenan and new character Becca. Meanwhile Mikey’s mum finally starts getting more proactive as she begins her own hunt for her sons. It’s a nice to see Williamson has plans for all his characters, and even though she dind’t have much to do in the first arc, she seems to be stepping up her game. It will be interesting to see how her rightfully sceptical attitude will play out when these stories converge. Another neat feature of the book was a revisitation to Mikey’s days in Terrenos; it leads to a rather sweet scene in which they try to celebrate his birthday. Young Mikey has certainly aged since we last saw him and it’s interesting to see Williamson mix the innocence of him with his growing acclimatisation to Terrenos. Seeing it through the eyes of his mother leads to quite an emotional scene, as we really haven’t seen his mother’s softer side, so it grants that character more depth. All the actions in the book lead to a gripping cliffhanger that has my counting down the days until the next issue (or at least more so than usual).
As this is a quieter, more character and plot focused issue Bressan unfortunately doesn’t get to draw the grand fantasy landscapes or giant monsters that we’re used to seeing. His art is still gorgeous mind, managing to encapsulate the emotional weight of every scene, we’ve just been spoiled by him cutting loose so much in recent issues that seeing him restrain himself makes me constantly want to ask for more. He does however get to play to his strength a few times however with some really gorgeous other wordly elements from Terrenos and a scene of Mikey displaying some of his powers, with the colours of Andriano Lucas giving a very alien fantasy vibe to them, so for fans of that stuff like myself, we do get some of that always awesome Bressan goodness.
Overall, this is another fantastic issue of Birthright that advances the story in interesting new directions. There isn’t too much mindblowing stuff going on here (aside from the ending), but there’s a lot of fantastic character work that proves how well developed they’d become in just 7 issues. Even without many major stand-out moments, a lot of work is made to move the story ahead that manages to be entertaining in its own right and not feel like it’s simply setting groundwork or seeming like it should be in a trade collection, it’s another wholly satisfying issue of Birthright that fans of the series should enjoy.